NetApp buys storage software company for $300 million

5 November 2003 Storage systems vendor Network Appliance (NetApp) yesterday bolstered its networked storage strategy with the acquisition of Spinnaker Networks, a US storage management software start-up, for $300 million in shares.

NetApp’s CEO, Dan Warmenhoven, said the acquisition will help it accelerate the development of its grid architecture.


“The combination of NetApp unified storage and software solutions with advanced distributed systems architectures from Spinnaker further accelerates the shift to networked storage and speeds our ability to deliver powerful new storage grids as the foundation for data infrastructures of the future,” he said.

NetApp said Spinnaker has “pioneered” scalable system architecture, distributed file systems, next generation clustering and virtualisation technology. Its virtualisation technology developed by Spinnaker works in network attached storage (NAS) environments and storage area networks (SANs).

Analysts welcomed the deal. “Network Appliance clearly extending its offerings in high-end storage solutions, and with its ability to unify SAN by adding Fibre Channel and iSCSI, this has the potential to be a great move for NetApp,” said Steve Duplessie of Enterprise Storage Group.

NetApp storage servers, at present, can only cluster to two nodes. Spinnaker software will enable NetApp products to connect to hundreds of nodes from a single cluster, the company said.

Analysts say that NetApp’s first priority will be to integrate Spinnaker software to its hardware and to then port Spinnaker technology to its DataOnTap storage operating system.

California-headquartered NetApp intends to operate Spinnaker as an engineering and development site in Pittsburgh, where Spinnaker is based.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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